The Reception of Pascendi dominici gregis in North America
Published reactions to Pascendi and the issues it raised reflect a perception that the Church in the United States was little affected by Modernism. Much the same evaluation is present in English speaking Canada, with the added judgment that Modernism there is a Protestant problem, not a Catholic one. In both the United States and Canada, there is some concern over a “modernistic spirit” present that could provide a receptive climate for modernist ideas. For the most part, reports from the hierarchy made to Rome concur. The appointment of censors and Councils of Vigilance are duly noted. In a few cases measures instituted to ensure continued insulation of the diocese from modernist ideas are listed. Where ideas condemned by the encyclical are acknowledged to be present, they are carefully positioned as isolated instances that are being dealt with. A partial exception is the response from the Archdiocese of New York, in which the Dunwoodie Review had been suppressed for its publication of modernist authors. This response contained reassurances that articles in the Catholic Encyclopedia were being carefully scrutinized for their orthodoxy. Neither in published reactions nor in communications to Rome from the hierarchy is there evidence of a sense of connection between Americanism and Modernism. Seeing the two as disjunct and very different in their focal issues enabled the perception that Modernism found little resonance in North America.